Graceling Realm #3
Published May 1st 2012 by Dial
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.Whatever that past holds.Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . .
I don't know why it took me so many years to read Bitterblue. I loved Graceling and Fire, the previous books from the series, and I was impatiently waiting for this book to be published. But then it got lost on my long to-be-read list and it wasn't until the first days of January that I cleaned all my shelves and realized I still needed to read it.
This book was different from the previous books. Maybe it's because I was younger when I read Graceling and Fire, but Bitterblue took me a while to get caught in the story. I liked Bitterblue, the character. She is eighteen and curious about her kingdom, but doesn't know anything about how to be a queen. All she does is sign papers, but when she starts sneaking at nights out of the castle she realizes she doesn't know anything about her own city and people. She wasn't physically strong and brave as other female characters from this series, but I liked her curiosity and her mental strength to keep looking for the truth, even when it was painful. Sometimes she acted too foolish and dependent from others, but after all she is still too young and doesn't have parents to feel protected and supported.
I liked to read about characters from the other books, as Katsa and Po, and also meeting new characters. Bitterblue makes new friends at her city that will help her understand more about her kingdom and the things she doesn't know, but there weren't 'wow, amazing' to me. Also she has a love interest, which wasn't my favorite because he was too spoiled and treated her wrong sometimes, but I liked his change in the end and their story ended pretty realistic considering she is a Queen.
Bitterblue wasn't my favorite book from the Graceling Realm series, probably because I was expecting something else, but I still enjoyed reading it. Kristin Cashore knows how to write a good story and excellent characters. I was curious about all the mysteries surrounding Leck, the evil king and Bitterblue's father, and I loved the new discovery made at the end of the book. I don't think there are going to be more books from this series but I'll happily read another book with new adventures.